martes, 26 de marzo de 2013

Binnacle. Part II. Geneva.

I will talk about this city as Ginebra in Spanish and Geneva in the English article.

Landing, Tuesday, 22:45. Experience yields results, I had slept since the moment the plane took off. It took me about three minutes to go through customs and reach the landside area of the airport. Everything in order. First of all, I had to overlook the terminal and define my logistic.

Catching a night train to Geneva implied sleeping at Geneva's central station, which I did not knew if it was going to be open. I decided to take the first train at 5:00 am in the morning. I started looking for plugs, I needed my batteries to be fully charged. There was free WiFi at the airport.

There were some plugs, but the one I liked the most was not available, as an Argentinian film crew was shooting a movie in that area at the airport, a first WTF. I found another one, and an Hungarian girl asks me to share the space, an Hungarian girl who spoke Spanish because her father was a Chilean who got away from Pinochet, a second WTF.

I think I did slept a couple of hours, but I was under vigil for about four hours, without being sure if was sleeping, dreaming or perfectly awake. Vigil was going to become my natural state.

Train on time, arrived on Geneva in the morning. I was starting to walk around the streets of one of my fetish-cities. Few things are so unexplainable as my love for Switzerland. First I walked around the city centre, then Place Des Nations.

My headphones were at its maximum level until cops asked me to turn it down. I had forgotten that it is illegal to flush down a toilet in Geneva after 21:00, I had to respect the eternal silence so everyone could listen to the tic-tac of their watches. I did not see anyone else walking until 7:30, I was the only pedestrian in the city known as the "peace capital".

There is a Mont Blanc store per block in Geneva, and Genevoises stop there to buy a new watch or a new pen with the firmness and suppleness I stop to buy bread or milk on my way home.

Geneva's centre is not significantly different from the ones in any other small Center-European city. It has a Cathedral, a Town Hall, some Museums and the Reformation Wall. I was wearing Converse shoes, cotton t-shirt, cotton sweater, a raincoat and a pair of jeans. Yet, I wasn't properly dressed to enter to half of the coffee shops in Geneva's centre.

After walking around the centre, I head out to La Jonction, the junction of the two rivers that border Geneva and probably the ugliest neighbourhood of the city. La Junction could be compared to Serrano in Madrid, Altamira in Caracas and something like Islington (Come on you Gunners!) in London. It was cloudy and rainy, I realised my right shoe had a hole, so my socks were wet.

On the way there, I saw a couple of bars with names in Galician. I had always knew there were a lot of Galicians in Switzerland, now I see we are two regions with the same population components: corrupt people and cows.

From there to Place Des Nations, the headquarters of the United Nations. I made the tour of the place, sat next to disgusting ambassadors and politicians from all over the world. I discovered that Spain had donated about half of the building's artwork. That's everything I remember. They gave us a speech in the UN Assembly Hall. I sat on the back, charged my mobile phone and connected to Internet. I have always disliked these UN basterds, but at least they supplied me with WiFi and electrical outlets.

I demanded to be named President of Venezuela, but I was refused to. I demanded independence for Galicia, Basque Country, Catalonia, Bavaria, Brittany, Scotland, Cornwall and Lombardia; but I was refused to. At the end, I found a Spanish group in a high school trip, I unzipped my sweater to show them the Ikurriña my shirt carried, they shouted "Etarra!" at me. I'm wondering what type of school in Spain has money enough nowadays to finance a trip to Geneva. Most likely, the extremely posh people of Madrid.

I went back to the city centre to take some pictures and to drink water straight from the fountains. Drinking tap water in Geneva was addictive. I wanted to take 50 liters of Geneva's water with me. The sky was now clear and I had started to fall asleep everywhere.

I entered McDonald's to connect to WiFi and grab an ice cream. In Geneva, 90% of the people that goes to McDonald's, order Mc Nuggets. The weird ones, the ones who order burgers, eat them with knife and fork. In Geneva, they sell "Apple Pie Sundae", a gastronomically orgasmic experience. Pure extasis in the shape of warm caramelised apple with vanilla ice cream. Amazing. Also, there is a Central Perk in Geneva, the one that appears in the TV series Friends.

I was going to be hitchhiked from Geneva to Bern and there I was supposed to take a bus to Munich. The last time I took a bus from the German side of Switzerland to Germany (Zurich-Frankfurt), the German police stopped three Somalian drugdealers that were traveling on my same bus when reaching the border. There were nine hours of traveling time, I was expecting to sleep from the beginning. Conquering the Bavaria was the chosen mission. 

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